If you’ve just decided this morning to fork out your hard earned cash to get set up with a new Campagnolo disc brake groupset for your race, endurance, or gravel road bike you are likely going to need a set of matching Campy wheels, right? Well if you’ve made the jump to disc brakes on the road, you’ve probably already realized the benefits of road tubeless as well. That’s where the new Shamal Ultra Disc Brake wheelset comes in, Campy’s first disc brake wheelset to embrace 2-Way Fit for tubeless or tubed setups…
The Shamal Ultra Disc Brake 2-Way Fit is the latest evolution of the aluminum family that Campagnolo developed as the first complete wheelset where each component was designed specifically as a part of the greater whole. Campagnolo remains one of the very few companies that builds wheels with rims, spokes, and hubs that they design and produce for a unified end product. Campy has returned to that integrated design process for the new Shamal wheels as the move to disc brakes reworked a significant portion of the forces acting on a road wheel.
The Shamal Ultra DB 2WF then builds on technology that Campy developed for rim brake solutions and reallocates them based on the unique differential loading of road disc brakes.
With regards to the alloy rim itself, the Shamal wheels get a revised C17 profile (the same they are using on all disc brake wheels) with a 27mm front wheel rim height and 30mm rear, without the need for a braking surface. That gives the rim a 22mm overall external width, with about 17mm clear internal, making them still relatively narrow but designed according to ERTO for optimal use with 25-28mm tires. As part of the 2-Way Fit design the MoMag rims do not get spoke holes drilled all the way through the rim bed, but rather spoke nipples are installed through the valve hole and guided into place with a magnet.
The disc brake wheels continue the use of Campagnolo’s Mega G3 paired spoke lacing, again with the giant oversized aluminum spokes and proprietary straight pull heads set into special oversized alloy hub flanges. On the rear wheel the G3 combination of paired, crossed spokes on the driveside and half as many radially laced spokes on the non-driveside continues as the drivetrain pedaling forces outweigh braking forces. On the front though the unbalanced torque on the disc brake side had Campy flip the G3 setup around, now with 2x paired, crossed spokes on the brake/non-driveside and 1x radially laced spokes on the driveside. What you end up with is just 21 spokes front & rear, in a 14+7 configuration that alternates side front & rear.
In between those grouped spokes, Campy does what they call Toroidal Machining that removes excess material from the rim, leaving the material only where the added stress of the spoke connection exists. That machining process also lets Campagnolo dynamically balance the rim, leaving a little extra material opposite the valve stem to balance out that little bit of weight so the wheels don’t hop while cruising along at high speed.
Since these are Campagnolo’s top wheels (that’s what the Ultra means) they get a three piece front hub with a carbon shell and oversized, machined out alloy flanges. That also means they get Campy’s top-spec USB ceramic bearings.
Unfortunately we are going to have to wait until September 2017 to get a hold of a set of the new Shamal Ultras as they apparently have the latest delivery date of any of the Campy disc brake project components introduced this week. But even though we haven’t seen a pair in hand yet, based on our experience with the current tubular version of the Shamal Ultra wheels, we’ll expect the to be equally bombproof, equally smooth rolling, and on par with a high stiffness to weight. Also Campy wouldn’t commit to whether they were planning to produce a Shamal Ultra DB tubular, version but their ears perked up when we mentioned our success racing them in cyclocross. Fingers crossed.
Once the wheels are available in the fall, they will sell for 1305€. With 12mm thru-axles front & rear and a centerlock rotor interface the wheelset is claimed to tip the scales at 1540g. Tool free modular axle end caps will be available separately, offering compatibility with QRs and some other thru-axle standards, apparently sharing small parts with the Fulcrum wheel line.
It of course comes with a Campagnolo freehub body, but a version with a Shimano freehub will also be available for just a few € more. Campagnolo was proud to share that the alloy wheels are produced 100% in the EU, across a mix of Campy’s 3 factories in Italy & Romania.
There’s still more to cover in depth with the arrival of the Campy disc brake project. Keep abreast of our full Campagnolo disc brake groupsets coverage here:
- Campagnolo road hydraulic disc brakes overview
- H11 carbon in depth – EPS & Mechanical levers and calipers detailed tech
- Potenza 11’s alloy disc brake solution
- Disc-specific cranksets
- Bora One carbon tubular & clincher disc brake wheels
- Campy H11 mechanical long-term review
*note: Euro pricing does include VAT.